“Why are you a member?” It is not easy to answer that much less in the usual 10 seconds allowed for a snappy response? As a matter of fact there is no good answer for that question. There are scores of good answers to that question.
Some businesses use the Chamber as a vehicle to inexpensively market their business. The networking activities and connections they make help jump start their new enterprise. The communications and on line tools bring about business to business links. Relationships form that help businesses grow.
Small and mid-sized businesses can access training, counseling, workforce development and research that usually only big businesses can afford. Members have access to the knowledge and experience of fellow Chamber members whose best practices can provide valuable lessons.
Members get involved in activities that benefit their own businesses and the business community at large and hone their own skills at the same time. Groups form around common interests and needs, then work together to develop projects and initiatives that meet those needs thereby benefiting their businesses. Business is honored through the chamber, recognizing business growth and celebrating business achievement and success.
The Chamber helps educate, inform and develop leaders who value the spirit of free enterprise and take that message to positions of leadership to boards and commissions that serve the community. Chamber members work together to impact decisions made by the city, county, school district and state legislature. The clout of unified voice shapes the business climate of our community. Not all businesses are active, but by supporting the mission with their membership they increase the strength in numbers.
Chambers are catalysts through which professional people, entrepreneurs and business leaders can work together for the common good of the community. Yes the work of the chamber benefits those that don’t belong as well. In fact the entire community is served by the Chamber because the mission of this organization focuses on promoting the growth and prosperity of our local economy, the very foundation of our community.
Our theme for 2012 is: ENGAGE, LEAD, INSPIRE, SUCCEED which brings to mind the idea of maturing as a member. You need different things as your business changes. You need different benefits as your business needs mature. Individual business people expect and want different things from their membership investment. The Chamber offers a myriad of programs, special interest groups, committees and activities to attract and serve members at different stages of business. What is important to you will change as you and your business needs change.
As a member you are invited to: Engage, Lead, Inspire and Succeed. Engage – Connect your business with other businesses. Get involved with activities and events that will help your business grow. Lead – Direct the work of the Chamber through committee and project leadership. Show others the way to engage and benefit from participating. Inspire – Motivate and encourage others to reach the level of success you enjoy. Share your story, support emerging entrepreneurs. Succeed – Be part of something significant and encompassing that aids local businesses and helps our entire community prosper.
So if someone asks you why you are a member; take the 10 seconds to say, “because of connections, promotion, growth, clout and community good!”